Barty lets Coco through, Pliskova to meet Martic

On a wet and dreary Friday at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome, World No 1 Ash Barty retired from her quarter-final match against Coco Gauff, waving on the American teenager into the semis after leading by a set, while Karolina Pliskova survived 3 match...

Nadal avenges Madrid loss

Up to the quarter-final stage of the Rome Masters, Rafa Nadal could be said to have had a fairly torrid time and when he faced Alexander Zverev for a place in the last four, many expected the German, last week’s Madrid Masters winner, to maintain his winning form over...

Pliskova to meet Ostapenko in Rome quarters

Karolina Pliskova is the sole seed in the lower half of the draw and takes on Jelena Ostapenko, the 2017 French Open champion, in the quarter-finals of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, while Petra Martic and Jessica Pegula will contest the last quarter on Friday.

Barty cruises, Gauff stuns Sabalenka and Svitolina swats Muguruza

World No 1 Ash Barty remains on track to add the Rome title to her expanding collection but must overcome Coco Gauff in the quarter-finals, who upset Aryna Sabalenka, the Madrid champion, at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia on Thursday, while Elina Svitolina took out...

Nadal one point from defeat

Rafa Nadal’s invincibility on clay is being tested more regularly than you would expect and makes his forthcoming challenge at Roland Garros in a few weeks’ time, the more intriguing.

Jo Konta and Venus Williams enter Nottingham

British No 1 Johanna Konta and 10-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams will headline this year’s Nottingham Open field, the first of the returning LTA summer grass court events.

Osaka leads march of seeds out of Rome

On a day of major upsets at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia, the underdogs prevailed, seeing off seeds Naomi Osaka, Simona Halep, Sofia Kenin, Serena Williams, Petra Kvitova, and Maria Sakkari in a procession of upsets at the Foro Italico in Rome.

Nadal back on track

Rafa Nadal, playing his first match at the Foro Italico following his quarter-final loss to Alexander Zverev at last week’s Madrid Masters, declared himself happy with his performance in overcoming Jannik Sinner in straight sets, but not so with the scheduling by the...

Konta follows Bencic and Mertens out of Rome

Seeds started to tumble at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome, with Belinda Bencic and Elise Mertens followed out of the draw by Jo Konta, while Garbiñe Muguruza and Angelique Kerber were among those to win through on Tuesday.

Kvitova, Brady, Swiatek and Sakkari open Rome accounts

The Internazionali BNL d’Italia got under way at the Foro Italico in Rome on Monday, with some of the seeds in action and coming through unscathed, although Petra Kvitova had to come from a set down against Magda Linette to advance, while Jennifer Brady won in...
Tennis News, Tennis Results, Live Tennis Scores & Interviews

Djokovic & Nadal open their campaigns while Evans scores another win

The big guns finally emerged on the courts at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters to successfully open their clay court campaigns which they hope will lead to French Open success in June on day Dan Evans followed up his early success with another great win.

It was a very good encounter. I thought it was a great first match, a big challenge for me,. I just hung in there today and managed to find the right shots and the right game at the right time. Novak Djokovic

The British No.1, currently ranked 33, reached the third round with a solid performance to eliminate the Polish 13th seed Hubert Hurkacz, the Miami Masters champion who is believed to be suffering from some illness, 6-4 6-1 for his second win on European clay after a barren four-year period.

“I am a bit more comfortable with the gap playing on clay than last year,” Evans, 30, told Amazon Prime Sport.

“It has been a bit easier to move, I have been accepting it a bit more and enjoying it.

“I have been better in practice and getting on if I have not been playing so well.”

Further humiliation though, was heaped on the 24-year-old Polish No.1, world ranked 16, when no one turned up for his press conference having been requested to attend one by the media.

“Nice press conference, thanks everyone,” the disappointed Hurkacz commented on leaving the venue.

Novak Djokovic was impressed by his opponent

Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Unfortunately for him the main attention focused on Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal who haven’t been seen on a court since Australia, with comfortable victories following first round byes.

Djokovic produced a clinical 6-4 6-2 win over the up-and-coming Italian teenager Jannik Sinner before Nadal — an 11-time champion at the Country Club — defeated Federico Delbonis 6-1 6-2.

Sinner was expected to give the world No.1 a stern test and while Djokovic was impressed by the youngster’s performance, he went on to improve his record for the season to 10 wins with no losses.

“It was a very good encounter. I thought it was a great first match, a big challenge for me,” the Serb who resides in Monaco, said.

“I just hung in there today and managed to find the right shots and the right game at the right time.”

Sinner, who arrived in Monte Carlo following a runner-up finish in Miami, saved two match points but was too often troubled by Djokovic’s mix of baseline attacks and subtle drop shots. The 19-year-old Sinner bowed out on a double-fault.

”I felt good, solid is a good word to describe it. I have to be satisfied considering the tough draw. I walked into the court with the right focus and intensity. After first 3-4 games, I started to get into rhythm. I tried to move him and use the angles well,” Djokovic said but refused to make any comparison with his early self.

”I don’t like to compare even to my younger self, let alone someone else.

“Sinner is already an established player. What impresses me the most is his dedication to everyday routines, hence the consistency, which is not always the case for a young player. He is mature,” Djokovic added before looking ahead to his next match with Britain’s Evans.

”Very smart player. You would think that clay would suit his game style least, but he is proving people wrong. He is dynamic, has a lot of variety with the slice, great forehand. I am going to talk to few people and my coach, to prepare in the best way,” Djokovic said of the Brit.

Rafael Nadal is a picture of concentration during his opening match

Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Djokovic’s main rival, Rafa Nadal, whom he expects to meet in Sunday’s final, swept past Delbonis, the Argentine qualifier, and was always in complete control in his opener despite dropping his serve once.

“I think I just really played a solid match. Nothing unbelievable, but nothing wrong,” Nadal said. “Just a solid match, a positive start.”

Questioned about being in contact with Daniil Medvedev during a practice session when the Russian tested positive and forced to withdraw, Nadal was not overworried about contracting the virus.

“I was not worried because I practised with him, but I was never close to him,” Nadal, 34, said. “When these things happen, it is not good. But I felt sorry for him more than for me.

“I was never in touch with him, never closer than four meters, only at the end to say thanks for one second. But anything can happen, of course.”

Defending champion Italy’s Fabio Fognini also advanced to the third round, beating Aussie Jordan Thompson 6-3 6-3.

Fourth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas progressed with a 6-3 6-4 win over Russia’s Aslan Karatsev and Alexander Zverev of Germany, the fifth seed, defeated Lorenzo Sonego of Italy 6-3 6-3.

Also, Norway’s Casper Ruud produced the upset of the day when he defeated the ninth seed from Argentina, Diego Schwartzman 6-3 6-3.



Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.